Generally speaking, I am not a numbers person. That is, I only like statistics when they support what I want to believe: Weight down, bank account up. If they don't, I pretty much stick a finger in each ear, squeeze my eyes closed, and make insect noises.
Thus, for the past four years, I have avoided any real estate news. Hearing the data about how house poor we all were just made me want to dive head first down the garbage disposal.
And that is not becoming.
But this week, as I heard promising rumblings about the home remodeling and sales market, I perked up. I cracked open one eye. Pulled my finger out of one ear, and darn if I didn't find … now hold onto yourselves … good news.
Reports are showing that the housing market is coming ever-so-slowly back from a four-year coma, and it's bringing the remodeling market along with it.
Builder confidence is the highest it's been in 6.5 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo survey.
Meanwhile, home construction is nearly 22 percent higher than this time last year, and builders are on track to do more work on homes this year since than they have in the past four.
All this jives with the spring 2013 Remodeling Sentiment Report released this month, a semi-annual report my friend Dan Fritschen has been compiling since 2006.
“I'll be honest,” I told Fritschen, the force behind remodelormove.com. “I've deleted your last few reports without even looking at them because I knew they'd be too depressing.”
“Well, this one you're going to like,” he promised.
“The influences of the recession are continuing to diminish,” he said. “The report shows that homeowners are remodeling again, doing bigger projects and even hiring more contractors than they have since the recession started.”
Plus, because builders are eager to get back to work, many are cutting deals.
Cue up the angels chorus. The positive news is particularly timely for me as I am on the verge of remodeling my parents' old home, prettying it up for a spring sale.
For once in my life, I may have timed a home remodel right.
To take the pulse of the remodeling industry, Fritschen's company surveys 5,000 homeowners who are planning to remodel in the coming year. He asks how much they plan to spend, what rooms they plan to tackle, and whether they will do all, some or none of the work themselves.
Here's the good news from the 2013 Remodeling Sentiment Report: